Health system’s ambitions serve only its own bottom line
Re “Health system sets its sights on suburbs: Mass General Brigham’s plans for growth would make it too powerful, rivals contend” (Page A1, May 7): I am a former, decade-long employee of Partners HealthCare, now Mass General Brigham, and was dismayed to hear about the health system’s plans for an ambulatory care site in Woburn and other suburbs.
I serve the Woburn-area community daily and can tell you firsthand that installing a new outpatient center would not bring any improved level of care. When I care for my patients, I do so with the same equipment and techniques I used while at Partners. I am not alone in this regard, since our community is already filled with physicians who have the same level of training and experience as MGB providers.
In addition, rather than bringing lower-cost resources to our community, MGB would drive up costs. When I worked at one of Partners’ satellite facilities, I was told in no uncertain terms that my role was to ensure a steady stream of cash and referral patients to costly Partners specialists. That was true even if it meant sending patients into Boston at a much higher price for the same care than they would have received from a local provider 5 minutes down the road.
Our community and state deserve a robust, diverse, and low-cost medical system, and not to be turned into a cash machine for MGB’s ambitions.
Dr. Phillip J. Gray
The writer is medical director of MelroseWakefield Radiation Oncology, which is part of the Wellforce health system, and an adjunct assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.
How about extending some of that reach to the Cape?
Re “Partners HealthCare gets a new name and has a game plan for growth” by Joan Vennochi (Opinion, May 11): Instead of opening outpatient surgery sites in the “W” towns (Westborough, Westwood, and Woburn), where myriad choices of where to seek health care already exist, I implore Mass General Brigham to choose an “O” town such as Orleans, which is in dire need of options and choices.
Currently, primary care is administered largely by nurse practitioners, not medical doctors, and the Cape Cod Healthcare monopoly has taken away choices on this side of the Canal. We had a local doctor whose practice was swallowed up by Cape Cod Healthcare and who subsequently left and moved to Hingham to a Brigham facility. That’s where I currently choose to get health care, rather than grapple with the nearly impossible task of finding a primary care doctor on the Cape.
My plea to Mass General Brigham is to get a foothold here on Cape Cod and provide us with access to top-notch health services that Boston is known for. After all, we are only 70 miles away.
The more facilities, the merrier
It seems that Mass General Brigham’s plan to bring its health care facilities closer to the people it serves is ruffling the feathers of competing health care providers. I’d like to say that having Mass General Brigham 10 minutes away in Danvers is a blessing.
Saul P. Heller